What Sales Teams Can Learn From Pokémon GO

Posted: 20/07/2016

By Brett Lyons

We’re all on the go and we’re living on our mobile phones. The makers of Pokémon GO know this, but sales trainers still aren’t getting it. We’ll explain why…

Pokémon GO is a brand new game that’s proving wildly successful for three key reasons:

  • It blends the real world with a virtual world
  • It’s interactive
  • It’s accessed from a mobile
…and these are the same three reasons why sales eLearning is increasingly successful. However, there’s one key difference: One is a game, and one could bring you serious business returns. 
Everyone is on the go, all the time. Especially sales people. Sales people have chaotic schedules, are often travelling, and it’s often difficult to get teams into a room for training. However, they still need to stay top of their game.

Sales people need to stay on top of best practice in order to compete in the global arena. They need to consistently perform. Therefore, there is a real need for sales people to try out their skills in complex simulations in order to prepare themselves for real-life challenges in the field. The simulations provided by eLearning tools create a safe space to rehearse tactics over and over before taking them into the real world; this is much less risky than going straight from the training room to the board room.

Traditional training methods that have been used for decades (classroom-style lectures, role-plays etc.) are time consuming and create barriers to learning. This is why the sales training field is now innovating and shifting to online platforms and mobile devices. eLearning can deliver skills faster, not only matching the pace of modern-day life, but the pace of any and every sales person, because they are able to access it at a time convenient to them.

The magic recipe

This is not to say that eLearning can entirely replace instructor-led training programmes; mentoring and training management is still vital. Therefore, a mixture of eLearning and offline instruction is the magic recipe for sales success. eLearning tools assist with this, as they often provide managers with the tools to monitor team progress and check in to a central learning system.

eLearning is perfect for refreshers and for dipping in and out. It can be accessed in the office, at home, and on the way to sales meetings. Ultimately, the key is that it can be accessed in a time and place convenient to the user: this is not always the case with traditional training methods.

Grounded in proof

This is essential to knowledge retention. We already know that retention rates drop to 10% just a week after a face-to-face training. If this could be supplemented with easy-to-access, unlimited use eLearning technology, no knowledge would ever be lost and sales teams would have no reason not to be smashing sales on a weekly basis.

If sales teams use eLearning like the world is using Pokémon GO right now, they could be catching sales like Pokémon! Whether they do or not depends on their company’s willingness to invest in innovative platforms that are proven in their success.


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Brett Lyons

Brett Lyons is an international leadership consultant who has converted 35 years of sales experience into a range of eLearning tools that deliver real-world results. He is a training expert who specialises in coaching motivated leaders to drive their teams to success.